Before you start reading this fantastic blog, I have one question for you:
- Do you use a regular wallet or a mobile wallet?
Maybe after this article, you will reconsider.
Believe it or not, paying for things with your phone is not a new concept. I was amazed to find out that in 1997 Coca Cola came out with the first digital payment system with several vending machines in Helsinki. They created a digital payment processing system that allowed customers to make payments by sending a text message. What a revolutionary idea, right!
It took fourteen years for a major company like Google to launch their mobile wallet in 2011; Samsung and Apple followed suit in 2015, with Samsung Pay and Apple Pay.
You would think that everyone would be familiar with mobile wallets and contactless payments by now, but believe me, we still have some work to do. That is why I created this blog.
If you don’t know what a mobile wallet is, don’t worry. Investopedia has your back. They provided a simple but great definition for the mobile wallet:
“A mobile wallet is a virtual wallet that stores payment card information on a mobile device. Mobile wallets are a convenient way for a user to make in-store payments and can be used at merchants listed with the mobile wallet service provider.”
Even though this technology has been around for over five years, it was only until 2020, due to the pandemic, customers were ready to utilize it. It doesn’t matter how many advantages technology brings if customers are not prepared to embrace it. We have seen this through history; two great examples are the QR code and the smartwatch.
- The QR (Quick Response code) was invented in 1994, but it wasn’t fully embraced until this past year.
- Seiko launched the first smartwatch in 1998, but we had to wait for society to embrace this new technology, thanks to Apple and Fitbit making them mainstream.
Now is the time to embrace mobile payments and ditch the wallet.
So why ditch the wallet? You may ask.
Well wallets are bulky, easy to misplace, and they can even cause you back and leg pain if you usually tend to carry them in your back pocket.
Suppose those are not sufficient reasons for you to switch to a mobile wallet. Here are some reasons that have helped me make the change.
Safer – Since Covid I found myself thinking about dirty surfaces more than ever before (how often do they clean the machine, did the person before me wash his hands… You get the idea). Yeah, sure, I could use my contactless card, but I often find myself having to place the card extremely close to the POS (point of sale), and who knows how many people before me have done that. Mobile wallets offer a fast touchless payment alternative to contactless cards.
Secure – Mobile transactions are encrypted, which means that you are not sharing your bank account numbers with the merchant services. This encryption protects you from significant data breaches like the one suffered by Target in 2013, which resulted in 40 million customers’ credit and debit card stolen information. Also, most mobile wallets require a double layer of security, requiring a PIN, fingerprint, or face recognition to complete the transaction.
Faster – Nothing is faster than using your mobile wallet to make payments. You don’t have to waste any time looking through your coat or purse for the right credit card because all the buying power is right on your phone.
Trendier – Let’s face it, mobile payments are in style. A study developed by the analyst firm eMarketer concluded that in 2020 in-store mobile payments usage grew 29% in the U.S., and they predicted that by 2025, half of the smartphone users would be utilizing their mobile wallets. The experts predict that the number of users will increase, and the amount of money per user will continue.
I understand that ditching the wallet is almost impossible, especially considering that not all stores accept mobile payment and that my cell runs out of battery quite often. Still, the mobile payment solution future is bright. I predict many merchant services will start offering this option in the years to come, and the U.S. will follow suit to other countries like China.
After reading this blog, would you reconsider your stand in mobile wallets and give them a shot?
Don’t be afraid you don’t have anything to lose!
Fun Fact: My first job out of college was as a sales representative for Beacon Payments, a merchant service company in Boston. That is when my interest in digital payments started.
Below are some links that I used to inspire myself while writing this blog.